Image source: Top Drones For Sale
Whether you’ve invested in real estate specifically to get into the short term rental industry, or are considering renting out your primary residence (this is the case for many renters on Airbnb), you can always benefit from an increase in rental bookings. Why get into the short term travel industry? The numbers speak for themselves.
Millennials alone are predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on travel for each year by 2020. Up until this point, the average revenue per renter was $659. Another study conducted by Technavio forecasted the global vacation rental market to grow by 7.07% per year between 2017 – 2021. And lastly, the industry has seen explosive growth in urban rental accommodations vs. beach rentals. More and more people are seeking the city experience. Cities like San Diego with a hybrid city-beach life are even more desirable than ever.
With these numbers in mind, you gain a better understanding of the full potential of the vacation rental market. If you plan on listing a property, here are a few ways you can increase your bookings:
Make A Video
A house tour is a great way to give potential visitors an up-close look at your property. This “virtual walkthrough” of your space can make guests even more excited to book. This is especially true if you’ve frequently heard your guests say, “This looks so much better than the photos!”
Be sure that your video, like your photos, is of the highest quality. If you don’t have a solid camera with HD resolution, or know someone who can shoot it for you, it’s best to hold out for the right opportunity.
Drone videos are also a great way to capture homes, amenities (like a rooftop pool), views, and community features. And contrary to what you might think, drone access is easier than ever. Hundreds of drone footage companies are sprouting, and a quick search for “drone video companies in [insert city]” will likely yield some reliable results.
Set Up A Website
When you set up your own website, you have complete creative freedom to showcase your property the way that you want. You aren’t confined to the limits of your platform, and can include larger galleries, home tour videos, and can even highlight testimonials that are most important to you. A website is an ideal place to show off everything you have to offer, and you don’t have to worry about setting up a payment gateway (unless you want guests to be able to book directly through your website). Alternatively, you can create a “Booking” link that leads directly to your vacation rental platform of choice.
Utilize Email Marketing
Now that you’ve set up a website, you can start to utilize email marketing. Despite what many people think, email is still the preferred method of communication from brands to consumers, and email marketing has some of the best return on investments.
Studies have shown that customers who purchase product via email spend 138% more than customers who didn’t receive email offers. Welcome emails alone have proven to be particularly effective; on average, they receive 320% more revenue than other types of emails. In the short term rental space, email marketing serves multiple purposes:
- Attract new renters
- Encourage previous guests to return
- Solicit recommendations from previous guests
- Announce new features about your property
- Highlight guest experiences
- Announce specials and discounted bookings
Deals With Local Businesses
Another unique way to liven up your booking is offer local experiences. You can achieve this by partnering up with businesses in your community. This is a win-win for you, and local businesses.
Here’s how it works: you partner up with a business, such as a restaurant, to send guests their way. Let’s say a traditional breakfast platter at the diner across the street costs $12. You might pay the restaurant $9 for each guest, receive a coupon for the meal, and provide it to your guests as a “free breakfast” perk. Guests will likely buy more than what the coupon offers, creating additional income.
There are dozens of ways you can work out a successful partnership. For example, one Airbnb in Madrid partners with a local gelato shop to offer a coupon for $5 off, which is enough to pay for a cup of gelato, as well as a portion of another item.
Request A Review
Within a day after checkout, Airbnb automatically sends an email to your guests, reminding them to review your property. However, it’s easy for guests to consider the transaction done once they leave. They aren’t as invested in the review process as you are, and tend to forget it entirely.
Think about all the times you’ve purchased a product, eaten at a restaurant, or stayed at a hotel and left without leaving a review, good experience or otherwise. It happens naturally, without anyone even realizing how important it might be to the establishment.
It can be frustrating when you’ve worked hard to provide a great experience, and you don’t get the review to reflect it for future potential guests. A gentle nudge in the “review” direction goes a long way. Send them a message letting them know that you hope they had a wonderful stay. Mention that you’ve already left them a review; sometimes, this will work as healthy encouragement towards reciprocation.
Aim For Superhost Status
If you, like many others, are using Airbnb to rent your property, you can leverage the Superhost status to your benefit. A Superhost label is the equivalent of an “A+” in the short term rental space world. Several guests have confirmed that with Superhost status, not only were they able to increase their nightly rate, but saw a noticeable increase in the number of bookings, as guests seemed more comfortable with making a reservation.
To become a superhost, you have to meet Airbnb’s minimum requirements. You’ll need to have hosted at least 10 trips, maintained a 90% response rate at minimum, and have at least an 80% average rating if half of all your guests have left reviews. As a Superhost, you also have access to exclusive Airbnb-hosted events in your area, and receive priority support from customer service.